Although medical sex selection for genetic diseases has a halo of respectability amongst practitioners of reproductive medicine, social sex selection is far more controversial. In many countries, including Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and the UK, it is banned. Widespread awareness of the growing distortion of the sex ratio in India and China after years of sex selective abortions has put the idea in a very bad odour. (Amazingly, sex selective abortion is also banned in these two countries, too.) However, libertarian bioethicists are arguing more and more loudly that preventing couples from choosing boys or girls is a violation of a "presumption in favour of liberty". While aborting girls may be a problem in Asian countries, Western couples often prefer girls. There seems to be little danger of skewing the sex ratio. Why forbid it, then, they ask.
The latest to take up the cudgels is Edgar Dahl, a German with strong links to Australian bioethicists. Writing in the journal Reproductive BioMedicine Online, he offers 10 reasons why a ban is immoral. Amongst them are the following:
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